I plan to write a research proposal for conducting a small experiment related to geobiochemistry. I aim to make the experiment:

1) Simple (middle school aged students could comprehend its main ideas),

2) Inexpensive (less than $500 of science equipment is needed),

3) Fast (can be done by one person within 2 weeks of full dedication).

As a side note, the station does have a microscope that I could use.

I would have access to the surrounding areas and can collect soil, rock, shell fossils, etc. Previous groups have discovered methanogens in the soil and endoliths in the rocks. However, without much background in astrobiology, I am uncertain how much expensive equipment and time was needed for these experiments.

I am mostly hoping for ideas on how I could conduct a simple and feasible experiment that could be shared with middle school students. Such as searching for life, biosignatures, etc. As I do not have experience searching for life and biosignatures in the field, I am truly unsure of how to approach this in a reasonable manner. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!


closed as primarily opinion-based by David, WYSIWYG, De Novo, theforestecologist Mar 14 at 21:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 Methane generation is one possible signature, and natural gas sensors are cheap and commonplace. Since methane can be found everywhere people or other mammals can be found (as well as other forms of life) the problem would be trying to do an experiment that is sensitive to methanogenesis from soil samples but not anything else. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Feb 11 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ Please do not expect the internet to do your job for you. Have you tried at all to come up with a question/project? Come on! In addition, this post is both opinion-based and to broad. Three reasons to close. Please put some of your own effort into this and edit this question accordingly asking for clarification of a specific idea that you come up with. Our goal is not to simply be an answer site, but rather a site that promotes self-learning with some expert help along the way. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 14 at 21:50